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Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III said Wednesday that he doesn't believe Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson set an unrealistic expectation for other players returning from knee injuries.
After tearing the ACL and MCL in his left knee during a loss to Washington on Dec. 24, 2011, Peterson returned for the 2012 opener and led the NFL in rushing last season.
Griffin has been trying to make a similar recovery.
"I don't think so at all. Adrian is a phenomenal athlete, and in Minnesota they've done a great job with him," Griffin said. "Adrian, he's a running back, it's a different position.
"I don't feel any pressure from the success that he had. I can't even remember how his season started off last year, either. All that stuff gets forgotten at the end of the day."
Peterson will not address the media until Thursday, but he told USA Today Sports earlier this year that he has "a lot of confidence" in Griffin's ability to return to his pre-injury form.
"Judging by how he approached his rookie year, if he continues taking that same strong mindset and applies it to his rehab, he'll do better this season than last," Peterson told USA Today in June. "I'm pulling for him."
|Adrian Peterson led the NFL in rushing last season with 2,097 yards after having torn an MCL and ACL during a loss against Washington on Dec. 24, 2011.|
Through two games, Griffin has completed 56 of 89 passes for 649 yards, five touchdowns and three interceptions. He has rushed nine times for 25 yards.
The Redskins (0-2) host the Detroit Lions (1-1) on Sunday.
Griffin also said Wednesday that if teammate Pierre Garcon wants to race him, then bring it on.
"There's no knee issue," Griffin said. "I love my receiver. If he wants to race, then we can race."
Garcon laughed when told Wednesday of Griffin's challenge to him.
"When I came here they told me he was faster than me already. Everybody's fast in this league. I try to be fast when I'm on the field. I try to be fast when I'm in practice. ... It's not about racing me," he said.
Griffin's statement about Garcon came in response to comments Tuesday from the wide receiver to ESPN980 Radio saying that the quarterback isn't as fast as he was last season because he has to wear a knee brace.
On Wednesday, Garcon didn't back off on his stance.
"When you have extra equipment on you can't move as fluid or as fast as you could if you didn't have that on. It's common sense really. If you carry extra stuff on you, you won't be as fast," he said.
Garcon, however, said the knee brace doesn't affect Griffin's "ability to win games."
"As a football player you have to protect yourself and get comfortable with extra stuff on," he said. "But it's a mindset and he's a quarterback. He uses his arm more than his legs, but that's what makes him special, is his legs.
"When you take a little bit of that away you start to second-guess yourself as a player. We know what he can do with his arm, that doesn't change if he has a knee brace or ankle weights on or rubber bands around his legs. It doesn't change the fact that he can win games with his arm or his legs."
ESPN.com Redskins reporter John Keim contributed to this report.